A Bunch of Pumpkins in Three Colors

How can Exercise be Medicine?

I have always found that there are two times during the year that we think about making lifestyle changes: New Year’s Eve with its resolutions, and the Fall, which reflects back to the beginning of the next school year when we were children. 

Any movement is good; thoughtful planned movement is better. 

It needs to be individualized to your goals, level of health, and access to “toys.” 

Balanced exercise includes something aerobic (to get our heart pumping & lungs breathing deeper), something to increase strength (which we love feeling but can sometime causes injury), and something to increase flexibility (which none of us do enough of but helps us to avoid injury). It is sometimes described as a 3-legged stool—if you lack any of the three, the stool falls over.

Exercise is NOT something we SHOULD DO, rather something that give us permission to PLAY! 

It is limited only by our imagination and perhaps our old injuries.

None of us want to take any more medication that we absolutely need.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on how exercise is medicine to the body:

  • As we breathe deeper, our lungs get oxygen & nutrition to stagnant less-active parts of our body
  • The diaphragm acts as the major pump of lymphatic fluid so our immune system is enhanced
  • More circulation causes increased activity of our hormones (who couldn’t use some of that?)
  • Our brain becomes more functional, but less stressed, allowing us access to our emotional brain
  • Muscle action, contracting & relaxing, pumps old blood out of tired muscles, helping to decrease tissue swelling in legs & feet from the pull of gravity all day
  • More pumping of blood helps it move to areas of dysfunction bringing the state of health to areas of need–resulting in smoother, less turbulent flow, less stickiness & tendency to form clots, and bringing nutrition to hungry cells 
  • More blood flow to our gut means better digestion of food in the stomach (less reflux & pain), absorption of nutrients in the small intestine (less bloating & cramps), and regular elimination from the colon (less constipation), while protecting us with its specialized immune system
  • Our liver eliminates more toxins from our environment, and our spleen replaces old tired blood cells with new ones raring to go. Our kidneys recycle more of what we need and eliminate more of what we don’t. Our skin glows!
  • Thus, the internal organs provide the “factory” to support the effective movement of the musculoskeletal system

So, talk to Dr. Worden about some goals you have for this Fall, get out there & move, and HAVE FUN while knowing that your motion is providing your own medicine to your body!